Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Paul Anthony Shortt on Consequences

Hey all! Today I want to welcome Paul Anthony Shortt to my blog! Before we go into that, though, I just want to let you know where I am and what I'm doing. :-)

First, I'm doing an excerpt swap with Quanie Miller, author of the up coming book It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy. My excerpt is here. Hers is here. By the way, if you haven't met Quanie yet, I suggest you check out the writings she's posted so far. The lady has some kick-ass talent and I'm looking forward to read Jazzy. 

Second, I'm visiting Rebecca to talk about writing a series.

Hope to see you there!

Okay, take it away Paul. Adore the cover, by the way.


Today’s guest post is pretty self-explanatory. A good story needs consequences. A character can’t run around, messing with the plans of powerful beings, throwing their own lives into disarray, and expect to get off scott-free.

At the end of Locked Within, Nathan Shepherd has suffered for his actions against the Council of Chains, and his obsession with unexplained murders. One friend of mine describes it as Nathan having “the worst week of his life.” And that’s true.

Or it was, anyway.

In Silent Oath, Nathan has to contend with the demands of his new role. The more he fights to keep people save, the harder he has to work. It’s as if his reward for each heroic act is to be presented with ever more dangerous challenges. He has to learn that it’s not enough to kill a few vampires. He must build something that allows the people of New York to protect themselves. He needs a conclave, a united group of people in the know to stand united against the Council of Chains.

But even that noble goal will have unexpected consequences. Outside conclaves look to Nathan for support. As his reputation grows, amid rumours that he is not just any reborn, but in fact the reincarnation of a legendary hero, he finds that more enemies want to challenge him, which those under his care look to him more and more for guidance.

Nathan must rise to this, and take charge if he is to do any real good.

However, reincarnation is tricky, and Nathan’s memories haven’t finished coming. He has other things to remember; events in past lives that will leave him shaken to his core. His actions, past and present, are leading him, inexorably, to war. For all his determination and strength, Nathan could stand to lose everything he’s built, and he doesn’t yet even remember why.

This is why consequences are so important in a story. As I wrote Silent Oath I thought more about Nathan’s past lives and how centuries of death and rebirth might affect him. What lengths would he go to in order to keep people safe? What if he wanted to have a quiet, peaceful life for a change? Fate has a funny way of dragging heroes back into action, no matter what they may do. This, too, is a consequence. The events that unfold throughout Silent Oath all stem from action or inaction on Nathan’s part. The challenge is for him to not only defeat his new enemies, but come to terms with the way he has changed things in New York, for better and for worse.

A child at heart who turned to writing and roleplaying games when there simply weren't enough action figures to play out the stories he wanted, Paul Anthony Shortt has been writing all his life. Growing up surrounded by music, film and theatre gave him a deep love of all forms of storytelling, each teaching him something new he could use. When not playing with the people in his head, he enjoys cooking and regular meet-ups with his gaming group.

Paul lives in Ireland with his wife Jen and their dogs, Pepper and Jasper. Their first child, Conor William Henry Shortt, was born on July 11th, 2011. He passed away three days later, but brought love and joy into their lives and those of their friends. The following year, Jen gave birth to twins, Amy and Erica, and is now expecting their fourth child.
Paul's first novel, Locked Within, was released on November 6th, 2012, by WiDo Publishing. Silent Oath is the second book in this urban fantasy trilogy.

Hope has returned to New York City. Nathan Shepherd leads a small band of dedicated fighters against the Council of Chains and the city's supernatural masters. But it's not enough. Because from the shadows of Nathan's former lives comes an old enemy, one who knows terrible secrets that Nathan has not yet remembered, secrets that could undo everything he has fought for.

Nathan's only chance to uncover the memories of his previous existence, and to conquer these new forces of evil, lies in Elena DeSantis. A woman he has fought beside in past lifetimes. A woman he has loved.
Together, Nathan and Elena are the only future the city has.

Twitter: @PAShortt


  1. Congrats to you, Paul!

    Tweeted and shared.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Great post! Consequences are extremely important. Every action has a consequence, and it's tricky with writing to make that realistic and entertaining. Congratulations, Paul!

    1. Thanks, Christine.

      You're right, it can be difficult making sure that the results of a character's actions remain believable and fun to read. Often, the most realistic course of events is the most dull, so it's up to the writer to twist things just enough to keep the reader hooked.

  3. Thanks Paul, I agree. There's nothing worse than trying to get into a book without some kind of consequence. The lids grwo heavy and the urge to delet form reader grows with every page.

    Misha - sorry you didn't see the comments on my blog. I had a few issues with it last night and they may be delayed. I found them, just need to check if they're showing up on the blog yet. Thanks for letting me know. X

    1. Definitely. As a reader, I want to see the heroes stumble and fall, face real threat and make bad decisions. As a writer, I try to do the same to my own characters.

  4. This is is the first that I have heard of this series. Love the premise. Actions do have consequences. Heck, even inaction has consequences!

    1. Thanks, Robin. I agree completely. People often forget that inaction is also a choice, and can make for a very interesting turn of events if played right.

  5. Congrats to Paul! I enjoyed Locked Within and look forward to reading the rest of the story.

    1. Thank you, Julie. I hope you enjoy Nathan's latest adventure :-)

  6. Congrats Paul and you're right all actions have consequences and fictional characters aren't immune.

  7. Congrats to Paul!
    Action or inaction... both are choices... both have consequences...
    The blurb is really interesting!

    1. Thank you, Michelle. It took a few passes to get the blurb right, but I'm very happy with it.

  8. So true about consequences, Paul. I particularly love unexpected ones. (Misha, I like how you're trading with other authors and giving back to the community.)

  9. Important to remember that everything our characters do makes ripples. Must make things even more interesting when you have repercussions from past lives too - intriguing!


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